On Friday, April 28th, LER and the Center for Social and Behavioral Science hosted “The Future of Work Research Showcase” – The Future of Work and Technology. The world of work is changing rapidly, with advancements in technology, changes in the economy, and shifts in societal values. As a result, research into the future of work has become increasingly important. Faculty whose research is focused on changes occurring in the workplace were invited to present their findings and provide insight to fellow faculty and staff members. Dean Ingrid Fulmer and Director Eva Pomerantz started with a few welcoming remarks, followed by Professor Amit Kramer, who introduced the presenting faculty members. The presenters included William Barley, YoungAh Park, LER Associate Professor, Abigail Wooldridge, and Christine Riordan, LER Assistant Professor.

YoungAh’s presentation focused on “Information and communication technology and blurred work-nonwork boundaries“; in other words, researching the correlation between employees being available after work hours and the negative symptoms that come from it. The study found that employees who have set boundaries and fewer expectations outside of working hours the lower stress levels and adverse effects they experienced. Their data was collected from elementary school teachers within the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) and Illinois Education Association (IEA).

Christine’s presentation centered on ongoing research – “Brokering from the bottom up: Union leaders as algorithmic brokers in hotel housekeeping work.” This research aims to find ways to assist housekeepers in improving the use of algorithmic management within the workplace. They are using testimonials from housekeepers to use their feedback to better the system. There are several pros and cons to using the applications, so they’re working on finding best practices to make the applications more user-friendly.

The event was concluded with provided lunch and a discussion with fellow faculty members on where they believe the future of work is headed.

Thank you to the presenters and the Center for Social and Behavioral Science for helping our school organize this informative event. We look forward to hosting similar events in the future!